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Fields, Joseph

JOSEPH FIELDS (1895-1966) was the son of actor, producer and theatre owner Lew Fields (who launched Rodgers & Hart's professional career in 1919) and the brother of Herbert and Dorothy Fields (co-librettists of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, among many other credits).  Joseph Fields served in the A.E.F. during World War I.  Returning to the U.S., he wrote material for famed impresario Florenz Ziegfeld. In the early 1930s he settled in Hollywood, where he wrote or collaborated on the stories and screenplays of many films. One of his regular collaborators was Jerome Chodorov, with whom he wrote a number of Broadway comedies and musicals, including MY SISTER EILEEN, JUNIOR MISS, WONDERFUL TOWN, ANNIVERSARY WALTZ and THE PONDER HEART. He also collaborated with Anita Loos on GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, with Peter DeVries on TUNNEL OF LOVE and with Oscar Hammerstein II on the libretto for FLOWER DRUM SONG. (In 1957, Fields obtained the film and dramatic rights to C. Y. Lee's novel THE FLOWER DRUM SONG, and brought the project to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The resulting musical, with a score by Rodgers & Hammerstein and a libretto by Hammerstein & Fields, opened in 1958.)

In 1954 he produced Arthur Miller's first play, THE MAN WHO HAD THE LUCK. The play itself had no luck (though it was eventually revived on Broadway in 2002), but it did launch Arthur Miller's career.

Films which he wrote and/or produced between 1931 and 1961 included The Big Shot, Lightning Strikes Twice, Annie Oakley, The Walking Dead, Grand Jury, When Love is Young, Reported Missing, Fools for Scandal, Righ Man Poor Girl, The Spellbinder, Mexican Spitfire, Two Girls on Broadway, Louisiana Purchase, My Sister Eileen, The Dough Girls, Junior Miss, the Marx Brothers in Casablanca, Lost Honeymoon, Man From Texas, Farmer Takes a Wife, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Tunnel of Love, Happy Anniversary and Flower Drum Song. 

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      In 1895 was the birthday of Joseph Fields, writer of the original book for Rodgers & Hammerstein's FLOWER DRUM SONG.